Bruce Springsteen has postponed all his concerts scheduled for September as the 73-year-old singer was getting treatment for peptic ulcer.

"Mr. Springsteen is being treated for symptoms of peptic ulcer disease and the decision of his medical advisors is that he should postpone the remainder of his September shows," his office announced last week.

What is peptic ulcer?

Peptic ulcers are open sores with severe pain that develop on the inner lining of the digestive tract when the digestive acids attack the stomach and small intestine.

In some cases, ulcers heal on their own. However, it can also lead to bleeding, perforation of the stomach wall and the development of swelling or scar tissue that obstructs the passage from the stomach to the small intestine.

Peptic ulcers affect around four million people worldwide annually. In the U.S., more than 350,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

Symptoms of peptic ulcer

  • Bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Pain in the upper or middle stomach between meals or at night
  • Intolerance to fatty food

When left untreated, it can result in complications such as unexplained weight loss, nausea, vomiting and difficulty breathing.

Causes and risk factors

1. Bacterial infection - Infection from Helicobacter pylori bacteria can cause inflammation and breakdown of the protective lining of the intestine, resulting in peptic ulcers. Although most people with the bacteria do not show any symptoms, around 10 to 15% can develop ulcers.

2. Medications - The regular use of aspirin and certain pain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can irritate the lining of the gut and can lead to peptic ulcers. The risk is high for women, those who take high doses of NSAIDs and people who are 70 years and older.

3. Other factors - Certain serious infections and surgeries can cause peptic ulcers. People with a rare condition, called Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (gastrinoma), which causes acid-producing tumors in the digestive tract may also develop ulcers.


The treatment of the ulcer depends on the severity of the condition. If the ulcers are causing bleeding, the patient might need to undergo endoscopic procedures to apply medications to the sores. In most people, using drugs such as proton pump inhibitors, histamine receptor blockers and antibiotics to treat the bacteria might help.